The business end of the death of my Mom

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  • #3740

    Old man of the sea
    Participant

    The end is near, Mom is in hospice care at home next door. I am her sole surviving child. She has a proper Will.
    The Will states that I will inherit 50%, and my dead brother’s 4 adult children the other 50%.

    Her estate currently consists of a modest home (paid off), a 2012 Ford Fiesta (paid off), normal home furnishings, small balance in checking account, a small burial policy and paid off grave site, and $5,476 in credit card debt…..She has no other property or investments.

    She last year granted my son full power of attorney (General/Durable), where together he and I handle all her day to day expenses and business matters. We keep very detailed records. I stay with her at all times except for when her long-time sitter is there.

    This week I will deal with funeral home to make final arrangements.

    Mom has stated several times that she desires to sign her home over to me, but to date I have refused….I wanted her to feel secure in her home in her old age…But now that the end is near I believe it would be best to remove the home from her estate and place it in my name because of the history of how she became owner of the home 23 years ago.

    23 years ago, I sectioned off a 3/4 acre section of my property and donated it to my parents, then built them their home next door all paid for the day they moved in, and all in their names. In that time, my Dad has passed leaving a proper Will that stated Mom had full Usury. My Brother also passed away at the same time….My dead brother’s children have until recently remained estranged from her the last 20 years. They contributed nothing toward her care or expenses.

    My Son and I have decided that he as Power of Attorney will donate the land and house back to me to remove it from the estate, that we will sell her car to pay off her credit cards to further simplify her estate, and then after her death declare her estate a “Small Estate”….Inventory and properly store all her furniture and possessions, complete probate and succession and then allow her 4 grandchildren access to everything of hers in storage where they can decide what of hers they want.

    I am prepared to assume property taxes and insurance on the home, but we have no current plans to sell it or rent it out.

    I have prepared the donation document using the exact wording contained in the original donation and believe it is ready to be executed.

    The purpose of this post is to throw this matter out there for all here to examine and possibly suggest additional steps or details I might take now or later to ensure a smooth process.

    Thank you all for any questions or suggestions.

  • #3747

    Old man of the sea
    Participant

    Lex, for you personally….I have followed you and this forum for many years and have the greatest respect for you and your wife. The two of you offer a very helpful free service and solid advice totally free to us all.

    Sir, I will not hesitate to retain you and at this point believe it best to retain exactly you to advise me.

    Thank you Sir.

  • #3751

    Lex
    Keymaster

    I have been in Austin and dodging Harvey for the past week

    What I see in these situations is an after-the-fact claim that any such donation was done 1) under duress, and/or 2) the donor was lacking capacity.

    If you prepare and have this executed yourself you are asking for both claims to be made.

    If you go through a lawyer, he/she will insure that things are done properly and, more importantly, that the donor has full capacity and that the donation took place out of your presence. The notary/lawyer who is experienced in these transactions would be an invaluable witness should things go bad down the road.

    The importance of this cannot be over stressed.

  • #3797

    Old man of the sea
    Participant

    Thanks Lex, I too have been very busy with unexpected business.

    As always you offer very solid advise…..All you suggest has been done!

  • #3818

    Old man of the sea
    Participant

    Mom died at 4AM sept 20th. I was there holding her hand as she died. I had moved in with her long ago and was there with her sitter 24/7…….When she passed away it was the end of an Era of Americans that this country might never see again.

    I laid her next to dad, a man that fought WW11, Korea and Vietnam, and for the last 20 years laid there waiting for her to join him……It is now DONE.

    I honored my promise I made to my dad 20 years ago as I held his hand as he died at 79 years of age. I promised him, “Daddy I promise you I will take care of momma, I promise.”…And then he closed his eyes and died.

    We buried her Monday….And as I was leaving the cemetary I finally saw it was a beautiful day…..Yeah….The struggle was finally over…..All the relatives are now gone back home….I am typing this next door in her house that I built for her and dad…taking one final look and seeing their… ghosts…And knowing they are together again forever….My job is done.

    Today I arrainged to close her banking account and paid off debts, turned off all utilities, notified all heirs they had 20 days to empty her house of everything/sell it/take it/everything, all the antiques, all and everything…..because on Oct 19 the house will be sealed up.

    And late in Oct I will take delivery of a spanky new Mercedez motorhome fully self contained full feature 200K beast and head out a free man perhaps never to return and leave everything to my son.

    Lex, I honor you and respect you as a man. There are very few people and especially attorneys left like you.

    Sincerely,
    Keith

  • #3820

    Old man of the sea
    Participant

    Ok..mom is dead and now in the ground so here is her obit…friends trust me there was never ever a more generous and helpful person alive than that old woman.

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thetowntalk/obituary.aspx?n=peggy-lorraine-nottingham-stewart&pid=186745489&fhid=25277

    It is done..She is in the ground….I have finally satisfied my promise to her and my dad…and now I will buy a spanky new mercedes motorhome and dissappear forever soon….completlely dissappear

    Thanks Lex

  • #3840

    Old man of the sea
    Participant

    Turns out Mom left what is declared a Small Estate and had a legal will declaring me as administrator….I have already paid all her debts and made her remaining posessions fully available to her four adult grandkids…They are slowly taking everything and her home is back in my name and will remain sealed up.

    All attorneys in this area that I have contacted tell me there is no need to even file probate or a succession as long as I have paid her debts and the other folks in her will are happy with how it all turned out…And they are.

    So, it appears all the business associated with her death is done…Of course I will retain all the records and accounting of her “estate” for future ref, but thankfully all went smoothly! 🙂

    Thanks, LEX

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